Exeter secure home quarterfinal
MATCH REPORT: Exeter Chiefs secured a Champions Cup home quarter-final after a dominant 33-14 win over La Rochelle at Sandy Park on Saturday.
They started the stronger side and took the lead after a driving maul got rolling on and over the try line with Luke Cowan-Dickie the man to dive over.
*As it happened: Exeter Chiefs v La Rochelle
La Rochelle hit back though with an immediate response as Kini Murimurivalu received the ball out wide and powered past two Exeter players defending their own line in the corner.
In a crazy three minutes before the break, Dave Ewers first gave Exeter the lead again after a tap in front of the posts but the French side would respond.
La Rochelle were on the front foot and spread play wide before a deliberate knock on meant Stuart Hogg was given a yellow card and a penalty try was awarded to the visitors.
Exeter took over in the second period with the first try coming from a tap and go with a powerful Cowan-Dickie carry, releasing Sam Simmonds who rode a tackle and went over.
Simmonds would double his tally on 57 minutes after dotting down at the back of a rolling scrum, bringing up the bonus point before Stuart Townsend later added a fifth try.
That win means Exeter Chiefs will have a home Champions Cup quarter-final, to be confirmed on Sunday.
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Cowan-Dickie, Ewers, Simmonds 2, Townsend
Cons: Simmonds 4
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Penalty try, Murimurivalu
Yellow Card: Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, 23)
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Dave Dennis (captain), 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ollie Devoto.
La Rochelle: 15 Vincent Rattez, 14 Kini Murimurivalu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Arthur Retiere, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Thomas Berjon, 8 Grégory Alldritt, 7 Zeno Kieft, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Rémi Leroux, 4 Romain Sazy (captain), 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Léo Aouf, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Thomas Lavault, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Brock James, 23 Elliot Roudil.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Rob O’Sullivan (Ireland), Eddie Hogan O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)
Congrats @ExeterChiefs – a home quarter-final is secure 👏
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 18, 2020